Views On Animal Experimentation/ Alternatives To Animal Experimentation
This report examines public attitudes toward animal experimentation as well as additional findings on alternatives to animal experimentation and the work of the National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research.
The majority of British citizens believe that the laws governing animal experimentation are tough (65%) and well enforced (56%), but 68% say they wouldn’t be surprised if some animal experiments were conducted unofficially in secret; 61% think that some animal experiments are duplicated without need.
The majority (90%) accept animal experimentation to some extent, with the 60% noting unconditional acceptance of the practice; the number of people who unconditionally accept animal experimentation has grown from 32% in 1999. Further, half of all respondents are accepting of animal experimentation for the purpose of testing chemicals that could be harmful to people; 44% believe it is acceptable to use animal experimentation to test for chemical harm to wildlife or the environment. Nearly one-third (30%) do not support the use of animals in any form of experimentation, and 17% believe that the government should ban all animal research. Respondents believe that support of opposing animal research should most likely come in the form of leaflets (81%), letters (76%), window stickers or posters (71%), or petitions (70%). Smaller numbers believe that protests outside of labs is acceptable (48%). And most feel that practices such as terrorist methods (85%), physical violence (82%), or property damage (82%) is unacceptable.
About a third (32%) of British adults say they are informed about scientific research, though despite this statistic, other evidence suggests that the majority of people acknowledge the importance of science overall; a 2008 survey found that 79% of British adults agreed that “science is a big part of our lives and we should take an interest.”